Loving Ourselves by Letting Go
Scripture: Matthew 22: 34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’“This is the great and foremost commandment.“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Loving Ourselves Because We Are Temples!
Yesterday, we were working through some practical applications of how we can love ourselves by taking care of our bodies, being mindful that they are temples of God’s Holy Spirit and for that reason (among others) we owe it to God to maintain a temple worthy of His work.
Physical Manifestations of Inner Conflicts
Yesteraday, I asked you to think about how your body feels when you are verging on being depleted. How would that manifest itself physically in your particular body?
For me, tension is one sign. Maybe you’ve felt it. It’s kind of a clenching, tight tension that resides in my muscles and results in stiffness and pain. Your senses are heightened and on-guard. Anxiety often accompanies this feeling for me. If I am really worried about something, I might wake up in the morning with the feeling that I have a toothache. It is never actually a toothache—it’s the result of me grinding my jaw at night-which I know means that I have not let go of the tension even as I sleep.
Loving Ourselves By Getting the Occasional Massage
When I’ve had time and resources, I have found massages to be such a blessing in the relief of stress and tension. My tension is usually so deep that I benefit most during a deep tissue massage. One thing you learn when you are getting a massage is the importance of breathing deeply and “letting go” of the tension. If I have trouble with this, often the practitioner will tell you to “let it go.” Once she finds the “spot” and the muscle loosens with one of those painfully wonderful popping spasms, it’s such a relief. And I know that my own thoughts put the painful knot there in the first place.
Loving Ourselves by Moving, Stretching, Climbing and Walking.
Short of a massage, frequent walks and stretching tend to help me release tension and are simple and easy to do. If you have stairs in your home or office, put on some headphones and walk up and down the stair for 10 minutes. A quick burst of exercise can help you calm down.
Loving Ourselves By Stopping the Fight!
Stop fighting the release of your tension. What is there that you need to release your chokehold on? Are you wrestling with someone or something that simply needs to be released to God’s care and control? We will be doing ourselves such an immense favor if we just put forth a prayer that God will take over the issue or individual we’ve been striving over and repeat to yourself, “God’s got it, God’s got it. God’s got it.” That does not mean that we abandon the person or cause, but perhaps take a step (or many steps) back.
Loving ourselves means directing our limited energy and resources to living out God’s will in our lives and not trying to BE God to a person or situation.
All the Best in 2013,